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Monday, September 28, 2009


Are you kidding me? Smiling? We're going to write about smiling?

Yes, of course. If you have customers, and all of us do (of one kind or another), then we want our customers to be happy and we want them to WANT to be involved with our business or operation.

When's the time to start smiling? It's when you answer the phone. Customers start making judgements about us, our teams, and our business as soon as they hear a voice (really, it's before that if you do any advertising or they've seen your web site). A voice can definitely convey a smile if we want it to.

The next smile has to be at the front desk. You know, typically the front desk person is the lowest paid in the office, but she or he often has the most important role. This person is the one who can give the first face-to-face smile a customer sees. Your front desk person has to be free to focus on the customers as they come in and should know that a "live" customer is always the first priority over customers on the phone or on email. The front desk person should really be happy to see customers coming in and that's not always easy to do. Maybe the answer is to fake it sometimes if we're not "feeling it", but often we're not that good as actors.

I can go through the list of staff in your office in reference to smiling, but the key is to be smiling all the time. Smiles are infectious and they make other people feel better. They can help our customers feel glad that they chose to come and see us.

I'm smart enough to know that a smile isn't what gets us's bringing value to our customers that gets them in our doors. Still, if we bring value with a poor attitude, then is it really valuable at all? Most people like to be around others who are glad to see them. It's the same with customers.

If smiling isn't a natural expression for you or your people (it's not always for everybody...some people are just serious), then you need to practice and get the team members to help by letting their coworkers know when the smile slips a little.

You may think this is all silly, but I'm deadly serious. Our customers should expect our best and they should get it. To do business with you (unless you're in business based totally on price), they're going to want to receive value and receive it in a positive atmosphere.


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